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6 Practical Ideas For Summer Communication

When I was in school, we used to get our final report card mailed to us in the summer. This was before email, so I’d run to the mailbox every day a little bit anxious. We all get nervous about our grades, but what made me most anxious was finding out who my teachers for the next year would be.

This is the kind of information that can make or break a summer. One summer, I told my friends I was assigned a particular teacher who had unfairly been given a reputation as a stickler. Never be a minute late, I was told, or I’d be spending many a day in after school detention. Three tardies would get you there, but most teachers didn’t enforce it too strictly. The stickler sure did though, I was informed. And I can report this was entirely true, but what went unreported was how great of a homeroom teacher he was, how engaging, what an ability he had to motivate us for the day ahead, and how his responsibility filtered down to even the most irresponsible student. After some time, no one even wanted to be late for homeroom because his homeroom was often the best learning of the day.

This time of year, students are anxious about who their teacher might be, even if they are the best in the school. For this reason alone, it’s so important for schools to stay in communication with students and parents in the summer months.

Never forget, kids have a tremendous desire to impress, so often the anxiety is warranted. So, not only could summer communication help students make a better transition, it could help the teacher hit the ground running as well.

With that in mind, here are some ideas for schools to include in their summer communication plans.

1. Think like a kid – include spirit days, fun days, and holidays and encourage ideas for suggestions. This is summer, after all, so kids will want to know about the fun things in the school year ahead. Allowing students to suggest ideas by emailing teachers allows them to practice an important technology skill and also to build rapport with their new teacher.

2. Encourage parents to email their new teacher. Teachers check their email during the summer, and it’s really beneficial for everyone involved to exchange questions, concerns, and ideas relating to the student as soon as possible. Getting concerns out front and center takes the pressure off when things really get busy in September and beyond.

3. Host a Fourth of July school party. Staff and families might be on vacation, but I know teachers are extremely dedicated and would more than willingly volunteer to help set the table for the year ahead in an informal “getting to you know” celebration. Inviting parents to a fun event like this helps them feel like part of the collaboration process. It could be a great annual gathering.

4. Be sure new families feel welcome. New families have a lot of pressures when moving to a new school, so anything schools can do to make them feel welcome will go a long way in reducing transition stresses. Meeting at a local Starbucks could be fun. Or going Frisbee golfing. Remember, it’s summer. It should be fun!

5. Have teachers include fun content to break the ice. Teachers like to have fun just like anyone else, so including some of their personality in newsletters could go a long way in making them relatable to students a little nervous about getting to know them. A fun Q&A or Poetry Corner in school newsletters would be fun to read, and fun for teachers to write.

6. Include dates to remember. Getting off on a good foot means knowing what’s coming up. Be sure to reiterate the important dates and deadlines that you have in place for the first month back. You’ll likely have to reinforce them, but the sooner you create the buzz behind the event, the more successful it would be, for sure.

If you like these ideas, consider letting TSCA create content for your newsletter. We specialize in parent and school communication, by providing ideas supported by current research. Contact us for more information, today.

Thanks so much!

About The Author

Chris Coomey is a teacher, writer, and community engagement specialist. When not working with students or writing about education, you can find him on his bike, on the basketball court, or out on a long hike on the incredible Colorado trails.